International business travel: employer responsibilities

International business travel: bringing goods or cash on your journey

Guide

There are certain goods that cannot be brought back into the UK - even if they are freely available overseas. Employees need to be mindful of banned and restricted goods before returning to the UK. Some restricted goods can be brought in providing that a licence is granted.

Employees must be reminded that attempting to conceal banned or restricted goods in personal luggage can have severe legal consequences.

Travelling from Great Britain and Northern Ireland

If you’re travelling from Great Britain (England, Wales or Scotland) to Northern Ireland, you do not need to declare your goods if all of the following apply:

  • you’re a UK resident
  • the goods were bought in England, Wales, Scotland or the Isle of Man
  • you have already paid both VAT and excise duty (alcohol and tobacco only) on the goods

You may need to declare your goods if any of the following apply:

  • you’re not a UK resident
  • you’re taking in alcohol or tobacco over your allowances for Northern Ireland and excise duty has not been paid on them in Great Britain
  • you’re taking in goods worth more than £390 and you have not paid VAT on them in Great Britain

Check if you need to declare your goods.

Travelling from Northern Ireland to Great Britain

If you’re travelling from Northern Ireland to Great Britain (England, Wales or Scotland) you do not have to declare any goods.

You’ll need to pay Import VAT on any goods you buy in Northern Ireland from shops that offer tax-free shopping under the VAT Retail Export Scheme.

Travelling in the EU

You can bring cash to the UK from an EU country, you do not need to declare it.

You may need to declare cash you take in to EU countries - check with the authorities in the country you’re travelling to.

Travelling outside the EU

You must declare cash of €10,000 or more (or the equivalent in another currency) if you take it between the UK and any non-EU country.

Cash includes:

  • notes and coins
  • bankers’ drafts
  • travellers’ cheques
  • cheques (including travellers’ cheques) that are signed but not made out to a person or organisation

Declare cash

You can make a cash declaration online up to 72 hours before you travel. For further information, see taking cash in and out of Northern Ireland.